With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe having asked organizers of big sporting and cultural events scheduled for the next two weeks to consider canceling, postponing or downsizing them during what is seen as a critical time for stemming the spread of COVID-19 infections, the list of closed facilities and canceled events is increasing daily.

Universal Studios Japan and Tokyo Disneyland were the latest casualties on Friday, with both theme parks announcing they would close from Saturday through to March 15.

Event cancellations and facility closures have created concerns about the economy, especially in areas of the country relying on a large influx of tourists during the annual cherry blossom-viewing season between late March and early April.